A tow hitch, also known as a trailer hitch is very popular among those having boats or campers. Today we are going to figure out who are the best at installing tow hitch on trucks or cars. Being one of the cheapest and not very difficult variants of transporting your boat to the lake in summer by yourself, all in all, the average price of a professional trailer hitch installation is about $100–200. Also, there are different classes of hitches that vary greatly in towing capacity, size, weight, complexity and of course, cost. If you’re handy you can save some money. If you’re not handy, best to hire it out, for example, you may always ask for installation services from local vehicles and repair shops near you. Shops that specialize in towed vehicles are likely to give you a better deal than automotive repair shops. They will also be more knowledgeable about your specific needs based on your model of minivan and your towed vehicle.
The cost of a trailer hitch installation depends a lot on the type of vehicle and the individual vehicle itself. For example: a pickup truck has a “frame” that a receiver or hitch can be welded or bolted onto. A vehicle like a Toyota Camry on the other hand does not have a proper frame, so the person who installs the hitch will need to find something solid that he can fasten the hitch on to. You may even not know that your car has a provision for a hitch and it would be easy to mount one in just a few minutes. That settles the physical part.
Now for the electrical—the trailer will need to have brake lights and turn signals. If it is a really heavy trailer, like an Airstream, it will need a provision for trailer brakes and a very specialized hitch to prevent the driver from sitting on pins and needles all day.Most large heavy duty pickups and vans come from the factory with some provisions for towing already installed.
Let’s go to U-Haul: Trailer Hitches & Towing Accessories and look up the cost to install a 2″ receiver hitch on a Dodge Grand Caravan. The hitch is about $150 and another $100 for hitch, ball, wiring, and installation. So, about $250 total. From that site, you can look up costs for a different vehicle or a smaller hitch.
The quickest install is about 2–3 hours with simple hand tools (socket set, knife to cut hole in plastic pan, and floor jack and jack stands). Some installs require drilling into the frame. Don’t get those if you are doing it yourself. Wiring is a separate issue. If you need them (you don’t need wiring if you use the hitch to mount a bike rack), then there are wiring kits available for about $50. It is easy enough to do yourself although having a friend help is highly recommended. It’s not easy to lift it into place by yourself and insert the bolts etc. If you have a shop install it – 2 hours at the shop rate which varies but is probably $45–60 per hour.
We have prepared the six simple steps to install a standard tow hitch by yourself or you may also view this video for installation guide as an alternative.
Your towing capacity is always stated in your car manual. Typically, minivans are not going to safely pull more than 3500 lbs, on average, and will be limited to about 100–200 lbs of hitch-tongue weight. A trailer hitch might be rated for 200 lbs on the tongue but I would not go over 100 lbs on a minivan without a leveling hitch. You may address this issue to your car dealership or google the info.
Make sure the necessary equipment is at hand. In case you bought a new tow hitch, bolts, washers, and manuals must be attached. The typical list of tools for most tow trailer hitch installations includes:
Clean and secure your car by following these simple steps:
Ask somebody to help place the hitch into its position and fix.
Position all the bolts and tighten with your fingers. Then use a torque wrench to tighten the bolts. Lastly, it’s time to connect your wiring to your trailer’s brake light and switch on signals.
Make sure your tow hitch is firmly attached before you attempt to tow anything. Shake and tug on to test how secure your tow trailer hitch is. Also, inspect your brake and switch on the signals to avoid troubles while on the road.
We believe that the information above will help you make your own decision whether to go for the DIY tow hitch installation or hire a professional tow trailer hitch installer. If you still have any questions contact us immediately. We also propose you to visit our blog with moving guides that is performing all kinds of useful information about moving weekly or watch Moving Tips videos.
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